HC Deb 20 July 1960 vol 627 cc41-2W
67. Mr. C. Osborne

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that the steamers "Himalaya" and "Andes" have recently been re-fitted in the Rotterdam shipyards, because the English owners could get a fixed date for the completion of the job as well as a fixed price; and what steps he is taking, in consultation with the British shipbuilding yards, to provide similar fixed prices and dates so as to give greater employment to ship repairing workers in this country.

Mr. Marples

The work to be carried out on these ships was extensive, but had to be fitted into their sailing schedules. I understand that no capacity was available in the United Kingdom at suitable times for refitting the "Andes", and that for the same reason several yards had to decline an invitation to tender for the "Himalaya". I am in close touch with ship repairers, and I believe that they are generally able to quote fixed and competitive dates and prices for most contracts.